Brittany Lincicome’s debut in a US PGA Tour event was not necessarily an artistic success, though if simple enjoyment was the metric it was a success nonetheless.
Lincicome, an LPGA star, shot a six-over-par 78 in the first round of the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, Kentucky. She is 16 shots off Troy Merritt’s lead.
“She had a smile on her face all day,” Sam Ryder, one of her playing partners, said. “She was just a great sport out there.”
Lincicome’s round unravelled because of two holes, the par-3 18th (her ninth of the day), where she made a double-bogey after hitting her tee shot into the water, and the par-3 seventh hole (her 16th), where she needed three shots to reach the green and three putts for a triple-bogey six.
“I was pretty happy with my game over all,” she said. “I just had two bad holes. But I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but just my putter let me down today. I was a lot calmer than I thought I was going to be, which was a relief. After the first tee shot I was like, ‘Okay, let’s go. We can do this.’
“It was just so much fun being inside the ropes with the guys. I love playing with the guys. Literally two bad holes, and if I can do better on those two holes tomorrow will be pretty good.”
She drew two agreeable partners in Ryder and Conrad Shiller. “Conrad and Sam were so nice,” said said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming and we were interacting. They were asking me questions, and it was great.”
Lincicome, who became just the sixth female in history to compete in a PGA Tour event, made only a single birdie by holing a 30-foot putt on the par-4 third hole (her 12th).
Ryder shot a four-under 68, while Shindler had an even-par 72.
“I know she’s a little disappointed. She hit it really well, with a couple big numbers, but if she rolled a couple putts in she could have been right around par or a couple under.
“She is a very, very impressive player. Her record speaks for itself. She’s won, I don’t know, close to 10 times on the LPGA. It’s a different game obviously, but watching her hit some of the shots she hits, spinning some of those wedges back, how solidly she hits a lot of her irons, she’s a very solid player.
“I think she had a little bit of nerves early, but it was fun. She’s the sweetest person in the world so we had a good time.”